Swordsinger Ch2: Confession

Deviation Actions

Verridith's avatar

Literature Text

Chapter 2 [confession]

I failed.

Caele sighed, staring at the scarf Fyndel had given him so long ago. Still stuck in a fragment of the Soulplane. A sunset lay frozen on the waters of a violently red ocean, sending tendrils of gold to the lapping beach. The boy overlooked it all, sitting on the cliff's edge.

Lost. A sad smile crossed Caele's face as we watched the water, and once again he felt his thoughts wander.

I failed you all.

He hesitated a moment, then took out a thin flute he carried at his side. He had hardly used it since it had been given to him by the elves; for a moment, Caele almost put it back. He started to play, the melody soft, and memories returned.

It's such a Five-forsaken pain. Saudi... I loved him too, you know? But he left. Left me far behind. And you... You caused all this. He... I'm like him now. I'm part demon. I can't die so easily anymore. But what's the use of a longer, bulletproof life if you can't live with it?

The melody hardened. A discordant note entered the tune, before fading away. He faltered, glancing away from the ocean.

I won't be able to forget you, ever. Wherever I go you follow like the blackest of curses. A stupid, demented legacy I can't get rid of without seeing that look of pain on your face, like a beaten puppy. Don't you get it? Didn't you ever? I can only do this because you can't hear a word I say!

It softened further, notes distant, sad. The sound echoed against the cliffs, danced among the rocks below.

Five damn you, Caele. I hate you!

He let the notes fade, and looked up across the sea. The water seemed to calm and still, grow impossibly flat. So many memories... So long ago. But he couldn't forget them. Maybe it wasn't him that was the curse. Perhaps it was her.

No. Caele smiled, giving another soft sigh. "Did you ever really care?" he murmured to the sky, watching the frozen clouds. "I wonder. If I came back, what would you do?"

A sharp growl broke behind him. With a gasp, Caele turned and swiftly rose to his feet, eyes widening in surprise.

Demons. Demons, everywhere. He drew his sword, face set in a mask. They followed him here, but how? They'd been mesmerized by the song. But what was the point behind following him into death?

"I'd save your ass, little scales. Isn't that what I always used to do?"


She stabbed her blade through the first demon and whirled around in a dance of metal, breaking their ranks as some scattered, screaming, unwilling to face such a terrible enemy. Caele fought off a mantis-like creature and drove his blade through another, ducking under sharp claws. When their eyes met, he saw with no little shock that she looked... tired, almost. Hollow-eyed she fought mindlessly, only stopping to kneel on the red-stoned ground when the horde withdrew to lurk in the shadows just beyond.

Caele rose from a crouch, staring at her. "Re... Remeira, you shouldn't be here." His eyes were dark suddenly, hiding the emotion only the sky had seen. He caught himself wanting to walk forward, to comfort her, to take away the pain in her eyes - but she had abandoned him, right?

Remeira glanced at him and turned away, one hand touching her throat. She rubbed it and shook her head, a smile playing at her lips. Her shoulders shook with laughter; impossible, silent laughter. "I never meant to come."

The drow hesitated, confused. He struggled to find a way to answer, then said sharply, "You still shouldn't be here."

Her laughter took a turn towards amusement, mockery. "Why are you here?" she countered, fingers tightening around her sword. She rose from a crouch, forcing herself to her feet. "Stop living in a dream, Caele. Fight. They're coming back."

Caele reached out and caught her arm, meeting her angry look as she whipped around to face him. "Stop," he said softly. "It's no use."

"Do you want to - ?"

"Die? We already have." Caele smiled, voice and expression dry, resigned. He looked away, back to where the demons were creeping closer, their fear banished by Remeira's show of weakness. The drowess let her sword lower, anger flickering in her smoky eyes.

The anger vanished. A longing look crept into her gaze and she shook her head, voice a soft whisper. "Play your music again, Caele. Protect yourself."

"From what?" Caele returned. "Pain? You've given me plenty of that."Remeira recoiled from the look in his eyes, sorrow like a tortured beast wailing in her mind. De'Bryska clattered to the ground beside her. Caele looked back towards the demons, then at his sword. As if contemplating whether or not he should fight. It wasn't worth it.

"Then... protect me."

The dark elf hesitated, glancing at her, her whispered words. His eyes were still hard, still hiding behind a mask. He could fight, and it wouldn't matter whether he won or lost. He couldn't, and could die again; it would mean a second more of pain, and then it would end. His spirit would be destroyed once and for all.

The demons drew closer. The flute lay a few feet away, twinkling in the sun's orange light. Remeira's sword lay near it, jade green highlighted in gold.

They lunged.

Remeira closed her eyes, and Caele could hesitate no longer. He swung the blade up and struck out - but the creature dodged and ducked under his guard, pincers slicing through armor and flesh to sink into bone below. The boy yelped jerked back, stabbing the sword through its armored chest. But it was too late.

He was thrown to the ground, blade knocked free. Remeira took a step back, eyes blinking in surprise; then they narrowed in anger. She snatched up De'Bryska and slashed at the thing before it could slice into Caele's neck, driving it into the ground. The drow got to his feet and held his arm loosely, facing the horde without a word.



Remeira fought off another, eyes icy, stonelike. She slashed and whipped around to bury a dagger into the body of another demon, pulling it free to hurl it at the face of the next. The song Caele had played whispered through her mind, tickled her subconsciousness, lyrics wafting in amid the tune.

The lonely wing sings in praise
As I face the darkest days
In battle's blood I fell this night
Calling out in desp'rate plight
Yet no help did come from friend nor foe
Only swords, death of old

Black flashed in her vision. It clouded her mind, wings of shadow -

But somehow, I escaped the night
Fled away, far from the fight
I wept and cried for friends so lost
For I watched them fall, even as I count'd the cost
I called and called, reached out in fear
But found no-one, nowhere near

A feral cry escaped the drowess' lips. She lost her hold on De'Bryska and heard Caele shout somewhere behind her. He had gotten back his sword, wielding it awkwardly as his left arm hung useless. Fighting, fighting, the screaming demons, his voice - protect me...

I stumbled, then I crawled
Haunted voice lost and cowed
Until my eyes met at last
Light on the hillside, joyously cast
But alas, I did not make it far
For the arms of my friends the way did bar.

Pain lanced up her leg as a snake sank its fangs into her flesh. She hissed and drew back, away; the pain receded and Caele stepped near, Fyndel's sword flashing in a web of steel. She gave in at last and picked up her sword from where it lay, stabbing up as the line's first song slipped from her lips in the language of her kind. "L'dwalc su'aco lindua," she murmured, reaching towards Caele, fingers splayed. Something flashed in her vision overhead - if it came down, she could lose her arm - but it didn't matter. "Wun falduna." She took his hand and lurched forward, dragging him and cutting her way through the line of demons as they surged forward to meet her attack.

They weren't as thick as she had first thought. They broke through and ran for it, Caele catching her arm and hauling him after him when she turned to fight again.

When they halted some ways away, panting, she rounded on him angrily. "What are you doing?" she demanded. "Those demons wouldn't have lasted long. It's been a while since -"

She stopped herself, hesitating, and looked away.

It had been a while since she had gotten an adrenaline rush like that. Instead she sighed, met his eyes again. "What were you singing?" he asked after a moment. She didn't answer for a moment, and shaking her head, said, "Just something that jumped into my mind. I don't know where it came from."

He gave her a less-than-convinced look and looked back over his shoulder, marking where the demons were. They were heading away; they weren't in pursuit. Little relief colored his eyes and he looked to the sea again, now some ways distant.

"What were you playing?" Remeira asked softly, breaking the uncomfortable silence.

The dark-haired boy jerked his head up and gave her a searching look, hand going to the pouch he kept his flute in. He had left it behind; Rem sighed. "It was Linath d'lil Su'aco's Roesor," he replied quietly, averting his eyes. She was about to continue, when he continued, voice holding a note of pain that made her shudder inwardly. "Why am I even talking about this?" he asked, gaze turning flinty and cold. "I shouldn't even be around you. You know that, Remeira."

Remeira stopped, stung. "Caele, I never -"

"No," Caele interrupted. "I don't want to hear it. You've been dead to me, Rem, as I should be to you. Go back to your world, drowess. And if you make it to the Soulplane instead of Hell, give Saudi my apologies for letting that demon take his life."

Remeira gasped, and retorted, "It's not as simple as that! You... You - Saudi left me. He left me! You've never had to go through the humiliation, the pain. You didn't... never..." Tears stung her eyes and she cursed herself silently, blinking them away. She hadn't cried since she had woken in D'issan among her dead brethren, the drow she killed... and before that, when the priestess to Scylla had died, the one who had raised her after... After -

"I'm beginning to understand why," Caele replied coldly.

Remeira's eyes widened and she took another step back, wracked with chills. It shouldn't matter what he thought, what he said; he was nothing. Dead to her, as he'd said. But thinking about him that way hurt... it hurt more. "I was a moron," she said coolly. "Worse, more than any word could describe. I thought death was the answer. There's pain, and darkness - and freedom. Usually that's the way that it goes. What do you want, Caele? What do you want from me? I don't beg for forgiveness, and I have nothing to lose anymore. Do you want an apology, what?"

Her harsh laughter cut through the air, and Caele's expression hardened until she could see nothing behind the mask. His anger, his hatred... it hurt more than Saudi's betrayal had, her bonded dragon, the one she had been together with for three long decades. Why?

She knew the answer. She tried - and failed - to ignore the whispering voice in her head, the one that snuck fanged questions through her defenses.

I still love him, don't I?

But she couldn't! If she loved Caele, what of Aeris? She loved both, and they wouldn't accept her divided heart. When Caele turned away, she reached out and grasped his shoulder, meeting his masked gaze as he turned back. Her eyes held not mockery, not anymore; but vulnerability.

"I'm sorry."
Chapter 2~ Enter Remiera. <3

I didn't get a chance to include a whole lot of description on backstory here, but hopefully y'all won't be confused. P: Enjoy!

» on to chapter 3

Come join our crazy~
© 2011 - 2023 Verridith
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Inklaw's avatar
Holy fudge why did I not read all of this earlier.

You've done an exceedingly awesome job on Rem. -continues reading-